Hand Signals to Use During a Bicycle Ride

When hopping on your bike and going for a ride on two wheels, it is key to your safety to learn hand signals. Learning these hand gestures can help you communicate with drivers on the road, which in turn can assist in minimizing your chances of being hit by a car and needing a Canoga Park bike accident attorney. In the event a bicyclist is hit by a vehicle, the resulting injuries can be tragic. Remember, your safety comes first. If for any reason you are clipped by a car driver while riding a bike, call law enforcement and an ambulance right away.

Here in this article, we have listed a few crucial hand signals that you can quickly learn and utilize when traveling on your bike. If you are riding with a team of people, consider having everyone learn hand gestures for effective communication.

Why is knowing hand signals so important when on a bicycle?

When riding a bicycle solo, hand signals are a great way to provide notice to car drivers where you plan to go next. It also helps signal to other bicyclists (if you are riding as a group) about upcoming actions you are all to take in the immediate future. This can help bicyclists stick together without anyone getting lost. If you or another bicyclist in your group were to get hit by a vehicle, call for police and medical help promptly.

How many hand signals should a bicyclist memorize?

Learning hand signals is a great way to practice safety while riding a bike. A bicyclist should practice hand signals before using them while on the streets. The majority of signals are relatively easy to memorize. Listed here are nine gestures that a rider should consider mastering in order to communicate with car drivers or other bicyclists:

  1. Right Turn = use your right arm and extend straight out from your body while pointing with your first finger, at least ten yards prior to your planned turn.
  2. Left Turn = use your left arm and extend straight out from your body while pointing with your first finger, at least ten yards prior to your planned turn.
  3. Stop = quick stops can be signaled by putting your hand behind your back while making a fist.
  4. Slowing Down = place your hand behind your lower back with an open palm out.
  5. Draft = for a rider to signal to another within the line, pat your lower hip on the side that you want him or her to draft.
  6. Pull Through = when planning to drift back into the line, keep hands on the handlebars and make a swiping gesture with your elbow on either right or left side (depending on where you want to drop back).
  7. Single Road Hazard = rider signals to group by pointing directly to hazard.
  8. Hazard (on shoulder) = use arm straight out from body with open palm & place hand to lower back to signal slowing down.
  9. Debris on Road (or loose gravel) = point with arm towards the gravel/debri using an open palm while using a shaking motion.



Thank you to our friends and contributors at Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into bicycle accidents.